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Harrison Birtwistle: The Moth Requiem / Roderick Williams, Nicholas Kok; BBC Singers

Album Summary

>Birtwistle, Harrison : The Ring Dance of the Nazarene, for baritone, tombak, chorus & chamber ensemble
>Birtwistle, Harrison : Three Latin Motets, for chorus (from the opera "The Last Supper")
>Birtwistle, Harrison : Carmen Paschale, motet for chorus & organ
>Birtwistle, Harrison : Lullaby, for 2-part soprano chorus
>Birtwistle, Harrison : On the Sheer Threshold of Night, madrigal for 4 soloists & chorus
>Birtwistle, Harrison : The Moth Requiem, for 12 female voices, 3 harps & flute
Performers Conductors Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

2014 heralds the composer Harrison Birtwistle's 80th year. He remains one of the most popular voices in contemporary composition in the UK and beyond. This new collection of premiere recordings draws together recent commissions with older works to mark the occasion, with characteristically flawless performances from the BBC Singers under Nicholas Kok. They are joined on this disc by the Nash Ensemble and baritone Roderick Williams.

The Guardian, 20th February 2014
The centrepiece of this outstanding disc of choral works by Harrison Birtwistle, all recorded for the first time, is one of the beautiful and most intensely personal of his recent scores...It's an important, scrupulously presented collection.

BBC Music Magazine, May 2014
This is a wonderful and important release of his powerful and often delicate works. Best, perhaps, to being with On the Sheer Threshold of the Night, which is a kind of spin-off from The Mask of Orpheus...This disc is the most fitting tribute imaginable to Birtwistle on his 80th birthday.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2014
I doubt whether anything the year brings for Birtwistle's 80th birthday is going to dim the lustre of this excellent recording of his choral music. Nor surpass it in importance, perhaps.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
Harrison Birtwistle's Moth Requiem (2012) is only 20 minutes long, but serves as a good reason to release a collection of his choral works. The earliest work included is `Carmen Paschale' (1965), from the beginnings of the English composer's career; it reflects the influence of Stravinsky. Higher melodic voices swoop up and down, making for an eerie texture that he uses to great effect. The Moth Requiem, for alto flute and three harps, is a culmination of his career. Inventive use of both singers and instruments keeps things interesting. Collectors of choral music may like to own selected works by one of England's most famous living composers.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: BBC Studios Maida Vale (2012-09-20_2012-09-22&2013-).



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Works Details

>Birtwistle, Harrison : The Ring Dance of the Nazarene, for baritone, tombak, chorus & chamber ensemble
  • Performer: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: David Hill
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: BBC Studios Maida Vale (2012-09-20_2012-09-22&2013-)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Birtwistle, Harrison : Three Latin Motets, for chorus (from the opera "The Last Supper")
  • Performer: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: David Hill
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: BBC Studios Maida Vale (2012-09-20_2012-09-22&2013-)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999

>Birtwistle, Harrison : Carmen Paschale, motet for chorus & organ
  • Performers: Philippa Davies (Flute); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: David Hill
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: BBC Studios Maida Vale (2012-09-20_2012-09-22&2013-)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1965

>Birtwistle, Harrison : Lullaby, for 2-part soprano chorus
  • Performer: Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: David Hill
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: BBC Studios Maida Vale (2012-09-20_2012-09-22&2013-)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Birtwistle, Harrison : On the Sheer Threshold of Night, madrigal for 4 soloists & chorus
  • Performers: Charles Gibbs (Bass); Stephen Jeffes; Emma Tring; Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: David Hill
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: BBC Studios Maida Vale (2012-09-20_2012-09-22&2013-)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1980

>Birtwistle, Harrison : The Moth Requiem, for 12 female voices, 3 harps & flute
  • Performers: Philippa Davies (Flute); Helen Tunstall (Harp); Lucy Wakeford (Harp); Hugh Webb (Harp); Roderick Williams (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: David Hill
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: BBC Studios Maida Vale (2012-09-20_2012-09-22&2013-)
  • Running Time: 18 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 2012